About this project
You walk through an ordinary looking door. You've walked out of everyday life and into a completely different universe - every sight, sound, smell and touch tells you you are now in a new time and place.
The door slams behind you and you hear the lock ‘clunk!’ as you’re sealed in.
On the far wall a timer blinks as the seconds tick down.
There’s no time to be timid - your friends are already exploring the walls searching for secrets, dashing from one strange half-familiar object to another, pushing buttons and opening drawers. They call to you to help, time is already running out, but together you can figure out the mystery.
Together you can escape the room.
What's the master plan?
We're building a Room Escape game in Brixton, London and want your help to be able to open before Christmas!
What is a Room Escape game?
Ever wanted to play Knightmare or The Crystal Maze? A Room Escape is a real-world adventure game, a team of friends, colleagues or frenemies enter into a specially built room filled with ingenious puzzles to challenge them. You find secrets, play with interactive props that respond to your touch, unravel a story in order to piece together the clues that allows you to solve a mystery and escape before the time runs out. It feels like a cross between immersive theatre and a live-action computer game.
Who are we?
We’re Oubliette Entertainments and we're a new adventures development company based in London. While the company may be new, founder Mink Ette has worked in the games industry for 10 years, creating avant garde games of all kinds that bring physical and digital play together.
We know we can make this escape room work because we are using the game we created in Portland as a base. We spent a year with 60minutes to escape developing that game and it's now been running for over a year - so the design is tested and proven.
Where does the mysterious door go?
The door has opened into New Pelegia, an Orwellian dystopia full of suspense and suspicion. The people are all watched over by the love and grace of JCN, a huge pervasive computer and CCTV network. The government rations and controls everything to keep things tidy - there are rumours that sometimes people get tidied away too. Your team enter as members of the underground resistance movement, you are being sent to infiltrate the Ministry of Perception, to find out what happened to a double agent who has mysteriously disappeared.
What does it look like?
Taking influence from the films 'Brazil', 'Nineteen Eighty Four', 'The Lives of Others' and 'The Double' as well as computer games 'Blackbar' and 'Papers, Please!', the set design puts the players into the intense atmosphere of a ministerial bureau at the heart of a surveillance network. You are surrounded by huge antiquated computers to hack, CCTV cameras to spy through and secret messages to intercept.
How are we different?
From our time working as set designers for Punchdrunk, we learned a lot about the skill of environmental storytelling. Unlike a lot of Escape Rooms, our game has a narrative that unfolds as you play as a result of your actions.
The puzzles were developed along side the story and feel like they truly belong to the scene you are in.
But that's not all!
In return for your support, you will be an honoured founder member of the Oubliette Adventure Society. As a member, you will gain special preview access to future games and shows, be invited to special events and meet ups. Inspired by the Pirate Supply Store in San Francisco, the Adventure Society's base will be a shop between the escape room and the street.
The Adventure Shop will be a place to showcase and sell artworks, stories, 'adventure kits' and games on the theme of 'High Adventure' that have been created by members of the society.
Who is making the escape room?
We have had a lot of brilliant people volunteer to help bring this project to life - too many to list - here are just few:
Who is making the rewards?
We are deeply honoured and excited to have some amazing people show their support for this project by contributing artwork, stories and puzzles to be backer rewards.
Nishat Akhtar - graphic artist - Nishat has designed a is a set of stickers celebrating the paranoia of living under the ever watching gaze of an omnipresent computer.
Lee Shang Lun 李尚倫 - indie game maker and Daniel Peake - puzzle maker - Dan and Shang Lun have designed a set of puzzling postcards, each one a different visual puzzle that you can send to a friend to bamboozle them.
Laura Bateman, Ana Palma, Mink ette, Lee Shang Lun and Phil McArthur have illustrated the postcards.
Sarah Gordon - visual artist and comic book maker - Sarah's contribution to the Adventure Society is a collection of talisman tattoos to keep you safe in perilous places.
Naomi Alderman - author and game maker - Naomi is giving us a uniquely presented story of daring from the grand age of adventuring past.
Kieron Gillen - comic book writer and Nika Harper - writer and vlogger - A collection of [REDACTED] by Kieron, which have been stealthily infiltrated with [REDACTED] by Nika, all set in a [WELL MAINTAINED UTOPIA]. Illustrated Laura Bateman.
Dick Hogg - artist and designer - Dick is designing a poster of deceptive perception, a beautiful and wry take on the idea of escape.
Neven Mrgan - game maker, developer and writer - Neven is writing and drawing a comic book zine that is secretly a guide on committing rebellious without getting caught.
Keep an eye out for updates as we hear more from other friends of the Adventure Society; Phil Trippenbach, Matheson Marcault Chris Cox and more.
How will the funds help?
Money raised by Kickstarter will be split between paying construction workers, buying the set building materials, upgrading lighting and sound equipment and producing the backer rewards.
Do you have stretch goals?
Why yes we do! We have had to put some pretty cool things on the backburner while we get the priority cool things seen to first. However, we believe that stretching for further goals should be a bridge we cross if we come to it. For your interest here's a quick list:
• Turbo charge production by hiring in additional skilled workers so that tasks can be worked on in parallel.
• Work with Beep Studio architects to create sculptural signage and a more playful environment for the Adventure Society shopfront.
• We have a basement! It would be the perfect space to have a bar for people to have a drink and decompress after their escape attempt.
• We're working with the Central St Martin's College to set a brief for their Foundation students to design 'Adventure kits'. We would love to be able to offer to produce the best designs to add to the Adventure Society collection.
Risks and challenges
Things could get broken - interactive props have the potential to break through being handled so much. We're going to build duplicates of all interactive objects and have iterated on the previous designs to make them even more robust.
Tight time line - we know we can make this game work because we are using the game we created in Portland as a base. We spent a year developing that game and it's now been running for a year - so the design is tested and proven. This allows us to cut down the playtesting phase significantly and give us more of a buffer in the production schedule.
First time business owners - despite a hefty chunk of time in my early 20s spent working in retail as a sales advisor and stock room manager, I've not run my own shop before.
I've reached out to my old retail managers, friends with family retail businesses and fellow new starts Union Station Yoga to offer me guidance and advice. I've also got the ear of pioneers of non-traditional retail distribution at MakieLab and Shaken Cocktails. I've managed to to pull together a group of advisors with a variety of expertise that I'm very excited to be talking with.
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